I liken my relationship with my family like pulling teeth and taffy, with translation encompassing both the pains and pleasures of living in a multilingual household. Our amalgamated English, Chinese, and Taiwanese Hokkien is smooth until it gums up into frustration and “everything in between." Regardless, it’s always eventually chewed up and swallowed. I see the “everything in between" as the beauty of translation—of love, as we attempt to make sense of the unknown together, despite how difficult or futile that journey might be. After all, we can’t communicate or understand the incomprehensible without some effort.
Classifying the intangible requires a welcoming of new and multiple interpretations and perspectives. After all, who has the right, the authority, to decide what is “correct?” If language is for people to use or adapt for their purposes, then it is up to each of us to decide what works—if we want to be understood by others, we need to bridge differences to create meaning. To approach translation as a way of learning is to approach others with love.
Love Language: Translation focuses on the beauty of documenting the incongruences of written and visual language, with a focus on personal experience. This project encompasses everything from niche jargon to absurdist internet memes, notated, connotated, and self-referenced, with enough space “in between” for the reader’s own interpretations. Translation need not only be for communication between different languages. It can also be the link across generations, cultures, systems, classes, and races.